Goodbye Terrible Youth
Fat Possum - 4 November 2016
American Wrestlers, the once-anonymous project of St. Louis-by-way-of Scotland songwriter Gary McClure, are pleased to announce their follow-up to last year's critically acclaimed self-titled debut. Goodbye Terrible Youth (out 4 November on Fat Possum) shows McClure taking bedroom recordings onto a bigger stage without sacrificing the intimacy that makes them so attractive. If his self-titled album showed his knack for stringing together addictive guitar lines—the shimmer of shoegaze mixed with the emotional fist pump of power pop—Goodbye Terrible Youth amplifies that energy with a road-tested band. Literally breaking out of the home studio—the Tascam mixer McClure had been recording on has fallen apart from overuse—he’s embraced a bigger sound and stage on Goodbye Terrible Youth, his rueful yet propulsive songwriting only becoming sharper.
McClure’s career may be the definition of plugging away, enough so that he has the unique distinction of being “discovered” twice. Before starting American Wrestlers, he was one-half of Working For a Nuclear Free City, a shoegaze-inspired band from Manchester. By 2013, McClure and bandmate Phil Kay decided to wind the project down. As McClure weighed next move, he started playing around and posting demos online. The tracks caught the attention of Bridgette Imperial, an American who was studying overseas, and sparked more than just a meeting of musical minds. They began dating, and a year later, McClure had moved to St. Louis to marry her.
The midwest move has been a key influence for the restless musician, a more open music scene than he was accustomed to in Manchester. While working a warehouse job for UPS in Missouri, McClure began experimenting and recording what would become the first American Wrestlers album, and the momentum and reception built since then has allowed him to stretch out and refine a new album of songs with a full band, which includes Imperial, who plays keyboard, as well as Ian Reitz on bass and Josh Van Hoorebeke on drums. McClure’s new set of bouncing, well-crafted songs show that musical youth is not always wasted on the young.
PRAISE FOR AMERICAN WRESTLERS
"You can hear the bona fides of a skilled singer-songwriter. McClure's cool charm makes these homespun songs feel like long-lost guitar-pop gems, newly discovered and barely dusted off." - Rolling Stone
"Scottish expat Gary McClure sings with a fragile-but-hopeful tenor like a beam of light from a discount flashlight, and as American Wrestlers, he’s stumbled upon a scrappy underdog lo-fi sound that lets his songs shine properly." - Stereogum (Band to Watch; 50 Best New Bands of 2015
“Americana indie-rock gem” - The Independent
“One of the most exciting albums I’ve heard this year” - The Guardian
“But the intrigue neither adds nor detracts from the fact that this is one of the best records of the year. By times lo-fi and dreamy, at others basking in melodic power-pop.” - Q
“The songs grab you from the start with clever guitar hooks and pretty soft-rock melodies that hide under the tinny brashness of the production.” - The Sunday Times